Why Tech Companies Must Market For Teens

Why Tech Companies Must Market For Teens

While we understand that teens are important to most tech-related marketing campaigns, we might not have realized just how important they are until they started dropping off of the Facebook radar.  With millions disappearing each year, we can attribute a number of factors to this: the advent of Snap Chat and its private, immediate, and ephemeral culture; parents joining in on Facebook fun and making it seemingly “uncool”; and many other concerns!

Bottom line, when teens stop paying attention to your marketing campaign, you should probably rethink it.  Teens are important to your tech company and here’s why:

Teens Define Cool

teens define cool

Tech is certainly not the only culture in which teens play an essential, trending role.   Looking back in history, teens have had a critical impact on the framework of the rock ‘n’ roll movement, fashion, television/film, and now tech.  And the fact that businesses are being taken over by the tech world should compel tech companies to market toward a teen demographic.  Let’s just say, you want teens on your side.

But, why are teens so important to your tech company?

Well, for starters, teens create and spread trends.  They let us other folk know what’s cool, what’s not, and usually change their minds about it before we can even fully understand.  With specific regard to tech, teens are the chosen ones, so to speak.  They hold the sponge-like capacity to grasp all of the most innovative, uber-changing technological advancements, be it iPhone updates, new apps, and social networks.  Teens, essentially pave the way for mobile tech, as it were, communicating to the creators of tech companies what they need to do to stay cool.

While teens are incredible at creating this need for new trends, and subsequent tech innovations, they lack a certain amount of sentimentality in recent years.  The knowledge that today’s teens possess regarding tech has driven them to rely on digital media.  This poses a greater challenge for tech companies to continually reinvent themselves and keep up to date with the trending definition of cool.  And, let’s be real, this definition of cool has a turnover faster than the line at your nearest McDonald’s drive thru.

Teens Want Instant, Personal, and Private Gratification

instant gratification

On the one hand, defining what teens “want” is an incredibly elusive, unpredictable task.  Yet, their seemingly rapid departure from platforms like Facebook (which include individuals of all ages communally, content that stays forever, and a lack of anonymity) lets us know what they might prefer.

On Facebook, teens are likely to be cohabiting the space with friends, brothers, sisters, teachers (from all stages of life), and dare we say PARENTS!  The fact that parents are sharing the same space makes said space, by default, uncool.  Thus, we understand that teens are longing and will continue to long for a private environment (one where mom and dad can’t come knocking on their Facebook wall!).

The teen shift to apps like Snap Chat also lets us know that teens long for instant, yet ephemeral, gratification.  Images and videos that appear for no more than 10-15 seconds and disappear (so long as no screen shot is taken), are all the rage.  They want it now and they don’t care if it lasts.

Finally, there needs to be a degree of anonymity and personalization.  There’s a good chance that most teens’ profiles on Facebook are ridden with self-deprecating photos that they didn’t even put there.  They might choose to untag themselves, but those photos will still exist in the Facebook landscape, and this is outwardly unattractive to teens.  Instead, teens prefer the anonymity that apps like Snap Chat and Whisper flourish on projecting.

Teens Want You to Meet Them Halfway

meet halfway

Though the title of this blog communicates the need for your tech company to market toward teens, it should be clear that this marketing should not be overtly gimmicky or patronizing.  Teens are much keener than you might imagine, especially when it comes to cool factor.  More often than not, your pompous attempt at trying too hard will be rejected.

Since we understand some of the more pervasive trends that teens gravitate toward, it will be important for us to cater to those.  Teens like creative liberty, anonymity, a “safe place” where parents can’t get in, and privacy.  These non-negotiable commodities should be built into your tech company, so long as you wish to acquire the teen demographic.  And, what’s more, you must be willing to go for the long haul and adapt to the changing culture.

Whether you like it or not, the teen demographic is critical to your tech company.  And, you’ll either acquiesce to their needs or be swiped away for the next, cool trend.  And, we know that the next trend is just a minute away.

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